The New York Times Notable Books of 2013 (89 books)

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Discover the 100 books released in 2013 selected by The New York Times.

 

The Accursed

by Joyce Carol Oates

A major historical novel from "one of the great artistic forces of our time" (The Nation)—an eerie, unforgettable story of possession, power, and loss in early-twentieth-century Princeton, a cultural crossroads...


All That Is

by James Salter

An extraordinary literary event, a major new novel by the PEN/Faulkner winner and acclaimed master: a sweeping, seductive, deeply moving story set in the years after World War II.

From his experiences as a young...


Americanah

National Book Critics Circle for Fiction 2013

by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

One of The New York Times's Ten Best Books of the Year

Winner of the National Book Critics Circle Award for Fiction

An NPR "Great Reads" Book, a Chicago Tribune Best Book, a Washington Post Notable Book, a Seattle...


Bleeding Edge

by Thomas Pynchon

The Washington Post

"Brilliantly written... a joy to read... Bleeding Edge is totally gonzo, totally wonderful. It really is good to have Thomas Pynchon around, doing what he does best." (Michael Dirda)

It is...


Children Are Diamonds: An African Apocalypse

by Edward Hoagland

This is not the Africa of Isak Dinesen, nor the Africa of Joy Adamson. This is the Africa of civil wars and tribal massacres, where the Lord’s Resistance Army recruits child-soldiers after forcing them to...


The Circle

by Dave Eggers

The Circle is the exhilarating new novel from Dave Eggers, best-selling author of A Hologram for the King, a finalist for the National Book Award.

 

When Mae Holland is hired to work for the Circle, the world’s...


Claire of the Sea Light

by Edwidge Danticat

From the best-selling author of Brother, I’m Dying and The Dew Breaker: a stunning new work of fiction that brings us deep into the intertwined lives of a small seaside town where a little girl, the daughter...


The Color Master: Stories

by Aimee Bender

The bestselling author of The Particular Sadness of Lemon Cake returns with a wondrous collection of dreamy, strange, and magical stories.

Truly beloved by readers and critics alike, Aimee Bender has become known...


A Constellation of Vital Phenomena: A Novel

John Leonard Award 2013

by Anthony Marra

New York Times Notable Book of the Year * Washington Post Top Ten Book of the Year

In a small rural village in Chechnya, eight-year-old Havaa watches from the woods as Russian soldiers abduct her father in the...


The Dinner

by Herman Koch

"A European Gone Girl." --The Wall Street Journal

An internationally bestselling phenomenon: the darkly suspenseful, highly controversial tale of two families struggling to make the hardest decision of their...


Dirty Love

by Andre Dubus III

In this heartbreakingly beautiful book of disillusioned intimacy and persistent yearning, beloved and celebrated author Andre Dubus III explores the bottomless needs and stubborn weaknesses of people seeking...


Dissident Gardens: A Novel

by Jonathan Lethem

A dazzling novel from one of our finest writers—an epic yet intimate family saga about three generations of all-American radicals

At the center of Jonathan Lethem’s superb new novel stand two extraordinary...


Doctor Sleep: A Novel

The Shining #2

by Stephen King

Stephen King returns to the character and territory of one of his most popular novels ever, The Shining, in this instantly riveting novel about the now middle-aged Dan Torrance and the very special twelve-year-old...


Duplex

by Kathryn Davis

* A New York Times Book Review Notable Book of the Year * A San Francisco Chronicle, Kansas City Star, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, New Hampshire Public Radio, Flavorwire, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, Largehearted Boy, ...


The End of the Point

by Elizabeth Graver

A place out of time, Ashaunt Point—a tiny finger of land jutting into Buzzards Bay, Massachusetts—has provided sanctuary and anchored life for generations of the Porter family, who summer along its remote,...


The Flamethrowers: A Novel

by Rachel Kushner

Rachel Kushner’s The Flamethrowers, a finalist for the National Book Award, was just named a Top Ten Book of 2013 by the New York Times Book Review and one of Time magazine’s top ten fiction books. Kushner’s...


The Goldfinch: A Novel

Pulitzer Prize for Fiction 2014

by Donna Tartt

WINNER OF THE PULITZER PRIZE

"The Goldfinch is a rarity that comes along perhaps half a dozen times per decade, a smartly written literary novel that connects with the heart as well as the mind....Donna Tartt...


The Good Lord Bird: A Novel

National Book Award for Fiction 2013

by James McBride

Winner of the 2013 National Book Award for Fiction

Soon to be a major motion picture starring Liev Schreiber and Jaden Smith

A Washington Post, Publishers Weekly, Oprah Magazine Top 10 Book of the Year

"A magnificent...


A Guide to Being Born: Stories

by Ramona Ausubel

Reminiscent of Aimee Bender and Karen Russell—an enthralling new collection that uses the world of the imagination to explore the heart of the human condition.

Major new literary talent Ramona Ausubel combines...


Half the Kingdom: A Novel

by Lore Segal

New York Times Notable Book 2013

"No one writes like Segal — her glittering intelligence, her piercing wit, and her dazzling insights into manners and mores, are a profound pleasure. From first to last I loved...


I Want To Show You More

by Jamie Quatro

“A brilliant new voice in American fiction has arrived. Bright, sharp, startling, utterly distinctive, passionate, and secretive, Quatro’s stories are missives from deep within the landscape of American womanhood....


The Impossible Lives of Greta Wells

by Andrew Sean Greer

1985. After the death of her beloved twin brother, Felix, and the breakup with her longtime lover, Nathan, Greta Wells embarks on a radical psychiatric treatment to alleviate her suffocating depression. But...


The Infatuations

by Javier Marias & Margaret Jull Costa

A New York Times Book Review Notable Book, NPR Great Reads, and Onion A.V. Club Best Book of 2013

Each day before work María Dolz stops at the same café. There she finds herself drawn to a couple who is also...


The Interestings: A Novel

by Meg Wolitzer

"Remarkable . . . With this book [Wolitzer] has surpassed herself."-The New York Times Book Review

"A victory . . . The Interestings secures Wolitzer's place among the best novelists of her generation. . . ....


Life After Life: A Novel

Costa Book Award for Best Novel 2013

by Kate Atkinson

What if you could live again and again, until you got it right?

On a cold and snowy night in 1910, Ursula Todd is born to an English banker and his wife. She dies before she can draw her first breath. On that...


Local Souls

by Allan Gurganus

“This book underscores what we have long known—Gurganus stands among the best writers of our time.” —Ann Patchett Through memorable language and bawdy humor, Gurganus returns to his mythological Falls,...


Longbourn

by Jo Baker

Pride and Prejudice was only half the story •

 

If Elizabeth Bennet had the washing of her own petticoats, Sarah often thought, she’d most likely be a sight more careful with them.

 

In this irresistibly...


Love, Dishonor, Marry, Die, Cherish, Perish: A Novel

by David Rakoff

From the incomparable David Rakoff, a poignant, beautiful, witty, and wise novel in verse whose scope spans the twentieth century

Through his books and his radio essays for NPR's This American Life, David Rakoff...


The Lowland

by Jhumpa Lahiri

National Book Award Finalist

Shortlisted for the 2013 Man Booker Prize

From the Pulitzer Prize-winning, best-selling author of The Namesake comes an extraordinary new novel, set in both India and America, that...


The Luminaries

Man Booker Prize 2013, Governor General's Award for Fiction 2013

by Eleanor Catton

The bestselling, Man Booker Prize-winning novel hailed as "a true achievement. Catton has built a lively parody of a 19th-century novel, and in so doing created a novel for the 21st, something utterly new. The...


MaddAddam

MaddAddam Trilogy #3

by Margaret Atwood

A New York Times Notable Book

A Washington Post Notable Book

A Best Book of the Year: The Guardian, NPR, The Christian Science Monitor, The Globe and Mail

A GoodReads Reader's Choice

Bringing together Oryx and...


A Marker to Measure Drift

by Alexander Maksik

A hypnotic, spellbinding novel set in Greece and Africa, where a young Liberian woman reckons with a haunted past. 

On a remote island in the Aegean, Jacqueline is living alone in a cave accessible only at...


Schroder: A Novel

by Amity Gaige

A lyrical and deeply affecting novel recounting the seven days a father spends on the road with his daughter after kidnapping her during a parental visit.

Attending a New England summer camp, young Eric Schroder-a...


The Signature of All Things: A Novel

by Elizabeth Gilbert

A glorious, sweeping novel of desire, ambition, and the thirst for knowledge, from the # 1 New York Times bestselling author of Eat, Pray, Love and Committed

In The Signature of All Things, Elizabeth Gilbert...


Someone

by Alice Mcdermott

A fully realized portrait of one woman’s life in all its complexity, by the National Book Award–winning author

An ordinary life—its sharp pains and unexpected joys, its bursts of clarity and moments of...


The Son

by Philipp Meyer

Part epic of Texas, part classic coming-of-age story, part unflinching portrait of the bloody price of power, The Son is an utterly transporting novel that maps the legacy of violence in the American West through...


The Sound of Things Falling: A Novel

International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award 2014

by JuanGabriel Vasquez

* National Bestseller and winner of the 2014 International IMPAC Dublin Literary Award

* Hailed by Edmund White as "a brilliant new novel" on the cover of the New York Times Book Review

* Lauded by Jonathan...


Submergence

by J. M. Ledgard

Award-winning foreign correspondent’s cerebral spy novel-cum-love story exposes humanity’s tenuous hold on a vast and relentless world.


Subtle Bodies

by Norman Rush

In his long-awaited new novel, Norman Rush, author of three immensely praised books set in Africa, including the best-selling classic and National Book Award-winner Mating, returns home, giving us a sophisticated,...


Tenth of December: Stories

Folio Prize 2014

by George Saunders

NATIONAL BOOK AWARD FINALIST • NAMED ONE OF THE TEN BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY

People • The New York Times Magazine • NPR • Entertainment...


The Twelve Tribes of Hattie

by Ayana Mathis

The newest Oprah’s Book Club 2.0 selection.

 

The arrival of a major new voice in contemporary fiction. 

 

A debut of extraordinary distinction: Ayana Mathis tells the story of the children of the Great...


The Two Hotel Francforts: A Novel

by David Leavitt

It is the summer of 1940, and Lisbon, Portugal, is the only neutral port left in Europe-a city filled with spies, crowned heads, and refugees of every nationality, tipping back absinthe to while away the time...


The Valley of Amazement

by Amy Tan

New York Times bestselling author of The Joy Luck Club Amy Tan brings us her latest novel: a sweeping, evocative epic of two women's intertwined fates and their search for identity—from the lavish parlors...


Want Not

by Jonathan Miles

From the author of Dear American Airlines, a highly inventive and corrosively funny story of our times.


We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves

PEN/Faulkner Award 2014

by KarenJoy Fowler

"A gripping, bighearted book." -Khaled Hosseini

Shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize 2014

Winner of the 2014 PEN/Faulkner Award

One of the New York Times Book Review's 100 Notable Books of 2013 and named by...


We Need New Names: A Novel

Art Seidenbaum Award for First Fiction 2013

by Noviolet Bulawayo

A remarkable literary debut -- shortlisted for the Man Booker Prize! The unflinching and powerful story of a young girl's journey out of Zimbabwe and to America.

Darling is only ten years old, and yet she must...


Woke Up Lonely

by Fiona Maazel

The dizzying new novel by Fiona Maazel, a National Book Foundation "5 Under 35"

* A New York Times Book Review Notable Book of the Year * A New York Times Book Review Editors' Choice * A Kansas City Star, VICE,...


The Woman Upstairs

by Claire Messud

From the New York Times best-selling author of The Emperor’s Children, a masterly new novel: the riveting confession of a woman awakened, transformed and betrayed by a desire for a world beyond her own.

Nora...


After the Music Stopped: The Financial Crisis, the Response, and the Work Ahead

by AlanS. Blinder

Named one of the Ten Best Books of 2013 by Michiko Kakutani and the New York Times Book Review

"Blinder is a master storyteller . . . one of the best books yet about the financial crisis." -The Wall Street...


The American Way of Poverty: How the Other Half Still Lives

by Sasha Abramsky

Selected as A Notable Book of the Year by The New York Times Book Review

Fifty years after Michael Harrington published his groundbreaking book The Other America, in which he chronicled the lives of people excluded...


The Barbarous Years: The Peopling of British North America: The Conflict of Civilizations, 1600-1675

by Bernard Bailyn

Bernard Bailyn gives us a compelling account of the first great transit of people from Britain, Europe, and Africa to British North America, their involvements with each other, and their struggles with the indigenous...


The Blood Telegram: Nixon, Kissinger, and a Forgotten Genocide

Lionel Gelber Prize 2014

by Gary J. Bass

A riveting history—the first full account—of the involvement of Richard Nixon and Henry Kissinger in the 1971 atrocities in Bangladesh that led to war between India and Pakistan, shaped the fate of Asia,...


The Boy Detective

by Roger Rosenblatt

The Washington Post hailed Roger Rosenblatt's Making Toast as "a textbook on what constitutes perfect writing," and People lauded Kayak Morning as "intimate, expansive and profoundly moving." Classic tales of...


The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism

by Doris Kearns Goodwin

One of the Best Books of the Year as chosen by The New York Times, The Washington Post, The Economist, Time, USA TODAY, Christian Science Monitor, and more. “A tale so gripping that one questions the need...


The Cancer Chronicles: Unlocking Medicine's Deepest Mystery

by George Johnson

When the woman he loved was diagnosed with a metastatic cancer, science writer George Johnson embarked on a journey to learn everything he could about the disease and the people who dedicate their lives to understanding...


Catastrophe 1914: Europe Goes to War

by Max Hastings

From the acclaimed military historian, a new history of the outbreak of World War I: the dramatic stretch from the breakdown of diplomacy to the battles—the Marne, Ypres, Tannenberg—that marked the frenzied...


Command and Control: Nuclear Weapons, the Damascus Accident, and the Illusion ofSafety

by Eric Schlosser

The New Yorker

"Excellent... hair-raising... Command and Control is how nonfiction should be written." (Louis Menand)

Famed investigative journalist Eric Schlosser digs deep to uncover secrets about the management...


Country Girl: A Memoir

Irish Book Award for Best Non-Fiction 2012

by Edna O'Brien

"Country Girl is Edna O'Brien's exquisite account of her dashing, barrier-busting, up-and-down life."--National Public Radio

When Edna O'Brien's first novel, The Country Girls, was published in 1960, it so scandalized...


Days of Fire: Bush and Cheney in the White House

by Peter Baker

In Days of Fire, Peter Baker, Chief White House Correspondent for The New York Times, takes us on a gripping and intimate journey through the eight years of the Bush and Cheney administration in a tour-de-force...


Ecstatic Nation

by Brenda Wineapple

For America, the mid-nineteenth century was an era of vast expectation and expansion: the country dreamed big, craved new lands, developed new technologies, and after too long a delay, finally confronted its...


Empress Dowager Cixi: The Concubine Who Launched Modern China

by Jung Chang

A New York Times Notable Book

Empress Dowager Cixi (1835–1908) is the most important woman in Chinese history. She ruled China for decades and brought a medieval empire into the modern age.

At the age of sixteen,...


The Faraway Nearby

by Rebecca Solnit

This personal, lyrical narrative about storytelling and empathy from award winner Rebecca Solnit is a fitting companion to her beloved A Field Guide for Getting Lost

In this exquisitely written new book by the...


Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood, and the Prison of Belief

by Lawrence Wright

National Book Award Finalist

A clear-sighted revelation, a deep penetration into the world of Scientology by the Pulitzer Prize-winning author of The Looming Tower, the now-classic study of al-Qaeda’s 9/11...


The Guns at Last Light

World War II Liberation Trilogy #3

by Rick Atkinson

#1 NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER

The magnificent conclusion to Rick Atkinson’s acclaimed Liberation Trilogy about the Allied triumph in Europe during World War II

It is the twentieth century’s unrivaled epic:...


The Heir Apparent: A Life of Edward VII, the Playboy Prince

by Jane Ridley

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW AND THE BOSTON GLOBE

This richly entertaining biography chronicles the eventful life of Queen Victoria’s firstborn son, the quintessential...


Lawrence in Arabia: War, Deceit, Imperial Folly and the Making of the Modern Middle East

by Scott Anderson

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY

New York TimesChristian Science Monitor • NPR • Seattle TimesSt. Louis Dispatch

National Book Critics Circle Finalist -- American Library Association Notable...


Lean In: Women, Work, and the Will to Lead

by Sheryl Sandberg

Thirty years after women became 50 percent of the college graduates in the United States, men still hold the vast majority of leadership positions in government and industry. This means that women’s voices...


Lost Girls

by Robert Kolker

Award-winning investigative reporter Robert Kolker delivers a haunting and humanizing account of the true-life search for a serial killer still at large on Long Island, in a compelling tale of unsolved murder...


Manson: The Life and Times of Charles Manson

by Jeff Guinn

The New York Times bestselling, authoritative account of the life of Charles Manson, filled with surprising new information and previously unpublished photographs: “A riveting, almost Dickensian narrative…four...


Margaret Fuller: A New American Life

Pulitzer Prize for Biography or Autobiography 2014

by Megan Marshall

Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Biography   The award-winning author of The Peabody Sisters takes a fresh look at the trailblazing life of a great American heroine—Thoreau’s first editor, Emerson’s close...


Men We Reaped: A Memoir

by Jesmyn Ward

In this stirring and clear-eyed memoir, the 2011 National Book Award winner contends with the deaths of five young men dear to her, and the still great risk of being a black man in the rural South.

�We saw...


Miss Anne in Harlem

by Carla Kaplan

New York City in the Jazz Age was host to a pulsating artistic and social revolution. Uptown, an unprecedented explosion in black music, literature, dance, and art sparked the Harlem Renaissance. While the history...


My Beloved World

by Sonia Sotomayor

The first Hispanic and third woman appointed to the United States Supreme Court, Sonia Sotomayor has become an instant American icon. Now, with a candor and intimacy never undertaken by a sitting Justice, she...


My Promised Land: The Triumph and Tragedy of Israel

by Ari Shavit

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW AND THE ECONOMIST

Winner of the Natan Book Award, the National Jewish Book Award, and the Anisfield-Wolf...


Patrick Leigh Fermor: An Adventure

by Artemis Cooper

Patrick Leigh Fermor’s enviably colorful life took off when in 1934, at the age of eighteen, he decided to walk across Europe. In just over a year he had trekked through nine countries and taught himself three...


The Riddle of the Labyrinth

by Margalit Fox

In 1900, while excavating on Crete, the charismatic Victorian archaeologist Arthur Evans unearthed inscribed clay tablets amid the ruins of a lavish Bronze Age palace. Written by palace scribes circa 1450 b.c.,...


The Skies Belong to Us: Love and Terror in the Golden Age of Hijacking

by Brendan I. Koerner

In an America torn apart by the Vietnam War and the demise of '60s idealism, airplane hijackings were astonishingly routine. Over a five-year period starting in 1968, the desperate and disillusioned seized...


The Sleepwalkers

Los Angeles Times Book Prize for History 2013

by Christopher Clark

On the morning of June 28, 1914, when Archduke Franz Ferdinand and his wife, Sophie Chotek, arrived at Sarajevo railway station, Europe was at peace. Thirty-seven days later, it was at war. The conflict that...


The Smartest Kids in the World: And How They Got That Way

by Amanda Ripley

How do other countries create “smarter” kids? What is it like to be a child in the world’s new education superpowers? The Smartest Kids in the World “gets well beneath the glossy surfaces of these foreign...


Thank You for Your Service

by David Finkel

From a MacArthur Fellow and the author of The Good Soldiers, a profound look at life after war

The wars of the past decade have been covered by brave and talented reporters, but none has reckoned with the psychology...


The Third Coast: When Chicago Built the American Dream

by Thomas Dyja

A critically acclaimed history of Chicago at mid-century, featuring many of the incredible personalities that shaped American culture

Before air travel overtook trains, nearly every coast-to-coast journey included...


This Town: Two Parties and a Funeral-Plus, Plenty of Valet Parking!-inAmerica's Gilded Capital

by Mark Leibovich

The #1 New York Times and Washington Post bestseller

Tim Russert is dead.

But the room was alive.

Big Ticket Washington Funerals can make such great networking opportunities. Power mourners keep stampeding down...


Those Angry Days: Roosevelt, Lindbergh, and America's Fight Over World War II, 1939-1941

by Lynne Olson

NEW YORK TIMES BESTSELLER • NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY THE NEW YORK TIMES BOOK REVIEW AND KIRKUS REVIEWS

From the acclaimed author of Citizens of London comes the definitive account of the debate...


To the End of June: The Intimate Life of American Foster Care

by Cris Beam

An intimate, authoritative look at the foster care system that examines why it is failing the kids it is supposed to protect and what can be done to change it.


The Unwinding

National Book Award for Non-Fiction 2013

by George Packer

The 2013 National Book Award Winner

A New York Times Bestseller

Selected by New York Times’ critic Dwight Garner as a Favorite Book of 2013

One of Amazon's Best Books of 2013

A New York Times Notable Book of...


The War That Ended Peace: The Road to 1914

by Margaret Macmillan

NAMED ONE OF THE BEST BOOKS OF THE YEAR BY

The New York Times Book Review • The Economist • The Christian Science Monitor • Bloomberg Businessweek • The Globe and Mail

From the bestselling and award-winning...


Wave

PEN/Ackerley Prize 2014

by Sonali Deraniyagala

One of The New York Times Book Review's 10 Best Books of the Year

On the morning of December 26, 2004, on the southern coast of Sri Lanka, Sonali Deraniyagala lost her parents, her husband, and her two young...


Wild Ones: A Sometimes Dismaying, Weirdly Reassuring Story About Looking at People Lookingat Animals in America

by Jon Mooallem

"Ambitious and fascinating... [Mooallem] seamlessly blends reportage from the front lines of wildlife conservation with a lively cultural history of animals in America." --New York Times Book Review

Journalist...


Year Zero: A History of 1945

by Ian Buruma

A marvelous global history of the pivotal year 1945 as a new world emerged from the ruins of World War II

Year Zero is a landmark reckoning with the great drama that ensued after war came to an end in 1945....


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